Thanks to a surgical procedure that I had last week, I have become a permanent fixture on my couch. Seriously, I think my butt and the cushion are slowly becoming one. My calendar, which is usually full of volunteer work, is clear. Painfully clear. It looks sad. So sad, that I’m 2 seconds away from penciling-in soap operas (are those even still on?) and bon-bons, just so my day will have some purpose.
I have spent my days either sleeping, watching “Frasier” or “Monk”, or surfin’ the net. I haven’t even been writing very much or spending my normal amount of time in prayer, and I owe that to the painkillers. I have a low tolerance to meds, so I’ve been…well…umm…fuzzy. (Yeah, that sounds better than “high as a kite”.) Be thankful I haven’t subjected you to the tortures of reading about the fascinating world of pencils or the importance of trash cans. This is where my head has been, people; it’s been ugly. My prayers have been equally absurd. “Why God, can’t we all just get along?” has been popular, along with “Thank you for whoever created blankets. May his soul rest in peace.”
In my moments of lucidity though, my mind lingers to things and people important to me, and I have made a surprising discovery. I miss my church. A lot. I miss the place, the people, and (most importantly) the Mass.
I love the church itself, especially when it’s empty. It’s beautiful, dark, and quiet…perfect for prayer. Time is a bandit there, and it’s quite often that I get so lost in meditation that an hour squeaks by as though it were a minute. And, even though I’m quite a daydreamer, I have no problem staying focused on Christ, mostly due to the religious imagery that cloaks the church. I even love the smells and sounds (creaks) of the building. I find solace there, in the quiet. I can ignore the sounds and stresses of the outside world, if even for a moment.
I love the people at our church. Everyone from the older lady who lights the candles to the altar servers who walk-run through the church. I even love the crying babies and whining children. (We shouldn’t fuss about the sounds of children in Mass. We should be thankful that there are children hearing God’s Word. A baby crying is a sound of new life; it’s a beautiful thing.) I have made good friends there, especially in the church’s secretary and our “men in black.” The secretary is a wonderful woman who really keeps the church going (you’d be surprised at what goes on behind the scenes…there’s so much more to running a church than I’d ever have thought). She has become a good friend and confidant, and I am thankful for her friendship.
We are also fortunate enough to have 3 priests at the moment, and I absolutely love these men. All 3 different, with different personalities, backgrounds, and experiences. Each having a lot to teach, each with something different to teach–they all play an intricate part in this journey of faith. And I can’t talk about my “men in black” without mentioning Fr. Tom, who has played a huge part in bringing me back to the Church. He has been spiritually life saving in ways that he doesn’t even realize. He has also been a huge source of entertainment for me, though I’m not quite sure if I’m laughing at him or with him. Regardless, they all make me smile. They are all like family.
And you can’t talk about family without talking about heart. The heart of this matter is obviously the Mass itself. I’m amazed at how the Mass has become my favorite part of my day/week, especially considering how I thought it was boring just a year ago. It feeds me spiritually. The homily is nourishment for the intellect, and the Eucharist is nourishment for the soul. I’ve missed that for over 2 weeks now, and I feel lost.
Solace, happiness, nourishment. It’s what I get from my church. It’s what I’m missing right now. If home really is where the heart is, then that church is my home. I miss my church; I miss the people; I miss the Mass.
I’m homesick. It’s time for a visit.